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Friday, December 8, 2017

'Roxy Music' 45th Anniversary Edition box set coming in February

The self-titled debut album by Roxy Music, originally released on June 16, 1972, gets revisited in a 3CD/DVD box set, out on February 2 via Virgin/UMe. 

Included are the John Peel BBC Sessions and alternate session versions for every track, plus their first single, “Virginia Plain.” The original album is presented in the 1999 Bob Ludwig master, while the remainder of the audio has been mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road Studios.

The set’s DVD includes promos and BBC TV appearances, as well as rare footage of Roxy at the Bataclan Club in Paris in November 1972, the only surviving visual document of this line-up live on stage. To round off the audio/visual elements of the set, Steven Wilson has mixed the album into 5.1 DTS 96/24 and Dolby AC3 Sound.

This box set also contains a 136-page book, featuring many rare and previously unpublished photographs and an essay by aforementioned Guardian journalist and author Richard Williams, who first wrote about the group inMelody Maker in 1971.

Speaking today about the band’s debut, guitarist Phil Manzanera commented, “At 21, my musical dreams came true, recording this album with these wonderfully talented and unique band members. Magical times, magical music.”

Saxophonist Andy Mackay recalls, “Late ‘71/‘72 Roxy was our Arts Lab. The place where we exchanged ideas and dreams freely and created and explored a new sound landscape. We stepped into Command Studios with a complete album in our heads (and half the next one) and it only needed the tape to start running… no album was as easy to record again.”

Drummer Paul Thompson: “The first Roxy Music album was my opportunity to create. I wasn't used to this type of line-up, I was used to being in guitar-based bands but always wanted to broaden my horizons and here was my chance. A landmark in the history of pop!”

Looking back on the album, Bryan Ferry reflected, “We never really felt accepted, I can see how the old guard would have felt threatened by it, because it was so jammed full of ideas and a massive amount of energy. But we hadn’t paid our dues, not in the same way. And we’re still not a part of it, not really, even to this day. That’s been very hard over the years, to try and make it work without being one of them. The ‘them’ is always different, but we’re not part of it. It’s been one of the triumphs, that we’ve managed to stay sane. Or sane-ish. We’re a part of it all, somehow, but still on the outside.”

Preorder Roxy Music 45th Anniversary Edition: https://RoxyMusic.lnk.to/RoxyMusic

ROXY MUSIC
THE DEBUT ALBUM 45TH ANNIVERSARY (3CD/DVD SUPER DELUXE EDITION)

DISC ONE: THE ALBUM
Re-Make/Re-Model (5.14)
Ladytron (4.28)
If There Is Something (6.34)
Virginia Plain (2.57)
2 HB (4.31)
The BOB (Medley) (5.49)
Chance Meeting (3.10)
Would You Believe? (4.03)
Sea Breezes (7.04)
Bitters End (2.08)

DISC TWO: DEMOS & OUTTAKES

EARLY DEMOS April/May 71
Ladytron (5.21)
2 HB (7.16)
Chance Meeting (4.22)
The BOB (Medley) (5.39)

ALBUM OUTTAKES

Instrumental (0.32)
Re-Make/Re-Model (8.13)
Ladytron (5.29)
If There Is Something (7.06)
2 HB (4.43)
The BOB (Medley) (6.20)
Chance Meeting (3.05)
Sea Breezes (2.38)
Bitters End (6.04)
Virginia Plain (3.33)

DISC THREE: THE BBC SESSIONS

THE PEEL SESSIONS 4/1/72

If There Is Something (6.38)
The BOB (Medley) (5.50)
Would You Believe? (3.48)
Sea Breezes (8.18)
Re-Make/Re-Model (4.58)

THE PEEL SESSIONS 25/5/72

2 HB (3.46)
Ladytron (6.14)
Chance Meeting (3.01)

THE PEEL SESSIONS 25/5/72

Virginia Plain (4.03)
If There Is Something (12.15)

BBC IN CONCERT 3/8/72

The BOB (Medley) (5.51)
Sea Breezes (7.13)
Virginia Plain (3.27)
Chance Meeting (5.31)
Re-Make/Re-Model (6.28)

DISC FOUR: DVD
The full album remixed in 5.1 by Steven Wilson

VIDEOS
Re-Make/Re-Model The Royal College Of Art, 6/6/72
Ladytron The Old Grey Whistle Test, 20/6/72
Virginia Plain Top Of The Pops, 24/8/72
Re-Make/Re-Model Full House, 25/11/72
Ladytron Full House, 25/11/72
Would You Believe French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72
If There Is Something French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72
Sea Breezes French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72
Virginia Plain French TV, Bataclan, Paris, 26/11/72

ROXY MUSIC

THE DEBUT ALBUM 45TH ANNIVERSARY (2CD / DIGITAL DELUXE EDITION 

TRACKLISTING)

DISC ONE: THE ALBUM

Re-Make/Re-Model (5.14)
Ladytron (4.28)
If There Is Something (6.34)
Virginia Plain (2.57)
2 HB (4.31)
The BOB (Medley) (5.49)
Chance Meeting (3.10)
Would You Believe? (4.03)
Sea Breezes (7.04)
Bitters End (2.08)

DISC TWO: THE BBC SESSIONS

THE PEEL SESSIONS 4/1/72

If There Is Something (6.38)
The BOB (Medley) (5.50)
Would You Believe? (3.48)
Sea Breezes (8.18)
Re-Make/Re-Model (4.58)

THE PEEL SESSIONS 25/5/72

2 HB (3.46)
Ladytron (6.14)
Chance Meeting (3.01)

THE PEEL SESSIONS 25/5/72

Virginia Plain (4.03)
If There Is Something (12.15)

BBC IN CONCERT 3/8/72

The BOB (Medley) (5.51)
Sea Breezes (7.13)
Virginia Plain (3.27)
Chance Meeting (5.31)
Re-Make/Re-Model (6.28)

ROXY MUSIC

180-GRAM VINYL LP

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jason Mraz acoustic tour to hit select US cities

Jason Mraz has announced plans for a new tour. The dates – dubbed “An Evening With Jason Mraz, Solo Acoustic” – begin in March in Raleigh, NC (see itinerary below).

Fan pre-sales have started, with remaining tickets to be released to the general public starting Friday, December 8th. For complete details, and ticket information, please visit jasonmraz.com/tour.

The announcement follows the recent news that Mraz will be extending his Broadway debut run in the hit musical, Waitress, with performances now scheduled through January 28th. The two-time GRAMMY® Award-winner will be joined from January 16th by Tony and GRAMMY® Award-nominated Waitress composer Sara Bareilles, making her long awaited return to the production.


Mraz and Bareilles have a long history of collaboration, having previously teamed with for two songs on 2015’s top 10 album, “WHAT’S INSIDE: SONGS FROM WAITRESS.” For complete details and ticket availability, please visit waitressthemusical.com.

In other news, Mraz has co-written and performed a new original song, “Can’t Hold Out On Love,” to be featured in the upcoming Warner Bros. feature film, Father Figures, arriving in theaters nationwide on December 22nd.

Mraz recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of his RIAA platinum certified major label debut album, “WAITING FOR MY ROCKET TO COME,” with the album’s first-time-ever vinyl release. The “WAITING FOR MY ROCKET TO COME” double LP is available now on standard black vinyl at all music retailers carrying vinyl records (see here); an orange vinyl edition is exclusively available via Barnes & Noble. All vinyl editions feature expanded artwork by Robert Fisher and Alison Dyer, plus lyrics and new liner notes by Mraz.

Released October 15th, 2002, the album spawned hit singles in “You And I Both,” “Curbside Prophet,” and the #1 favorite, “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry).” The latter single proved Mraz’s breakthrough, ascending to the top 15 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” while also reaching the top of the “Top 40 Adult Recurrents” chart.

Tour dates:


MARCH
8 Raleigh, NC Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
9 Knoxville, TN Tennessee Theatre
10 Greenville, SC Peace Center for the Performing Arts
11 Huntsville, AL Von Braun Center
13 Orlando, FL Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center for the
Performing Arts
14 Miami, FL Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
(Knight Concert Hall)
16 West Palm Beach, FL Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
17 St. Petersburg, FL Mahaffey Theater
19 Ft. Myers, FL Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
22 Mobile, AL Saenger Theatre
23 Baton Rouge, LA River Center
24 Shreveport, LA Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
26 Corpus Christi, TX American Bank Center Selena Auditorium
27 San Antonio, TX Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
29 Tulsa, OK Chapman Music Hall
30 Fayetteville, AR Walton Arts Center
31 Little Rock, AR Robinson Center Auditorium

Midge Ure gets ‘Orchestrated’

BMG Records U.K. has released Midge Ure's ‘Orchestrated.’

This new album features reimagined orchestrated versions of Ultravox hits and Midge Ure classics including ‘Vienna’, ‘Dancing with Tears In My Eyes’, and ‘If I Was’. Musician, singer-songwriter, producer and activist, Midge Ure has worn many musical hats over the years; however, working on a fully orchestrated album has been a new venture for Midge. Said Midge: "The record took eighteen months to make, but a lifetime of work to achieve".

Midge Ure was one of the 80’s most visible pop/rock stars as the stylish lead singer of Ultravox. Born in Scotland, Midge began playing music in bands at a young age. As soon as he moved to London he soon found himself immersed in a scene he had previously only read about. He was a member of Slik, The Rich Kids, Visage, and, for a short while, Thin Lizzy, after which he joined Ultravox as the new front man.

Ultravox, the electronic rock pioneers who helped soundtrack the 1980’s, regrouped with Midge at the helm after two of the original band members left to pursue solo careers. As singer, songwriter, guitarist and second keyboardist, this second incarnation would become the classic line-up.


The album, ‘Vienna’, was recorded in 1980. Although it was the band's fourth album, it was the first with Midge, and the first one to chart. When the title track ‘Vienna’ was released as a single in early 1981 it became a huge hit and spent four weeks at no.2 in the UK singles chart and was the 5th highest selling single in the UK that year. The album itself re-entered the album chart and peaked at no.3.

Midge produced and co-wrote the Band Aid anthem ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ with Bob Geldof and also co-organised the Live Aid concert in 1985 as well as the Live 8 concerts.

Midge and Bob jointly set up the Band Aid Trust, and is still active as a Band Aid Trustee. Both Midge and Bob have been honoured with two Ivor Novello awards for writing the song.
After working on the Band Aid project and during a hiatus from Ultravox, Midge pursued a highly successful solo career in 1985. The single, ‘If I Was’, was a UK number 1 single, and his debut album, ‘The Gift’, reached No. 2. After returning to Ultravox for what would be their final album together, the band effectively disbanded in 1987 and Ure concentrated solely on his solo career.
 

Track listing:

01. Hymn
02. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
03. Breathe
04. Man Of Two Worlds
05. If I Was
06. Vienna
07. The Voice
08. Ordinary Man
09. Death In The Afternoon
10. Lament
11. Recap The Wild Wind
12. Fragile

Simple Minds news

On February 2, BMG will release Walk Between Worlds, Simple Minds’ first album of new material since 2014’s Big Music.

Walk Between Worlds was produced by Simple Minds with Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg, both of whom worked on Big Music. With its eight tracks in just past in 42 minutes, it is a relatively concise affair. It is also an album of two distinct sides, very much the old-school album format that singer Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill grew up with as music fans. The title track and "Barrowland Star" feature orchestrations recorded at Abbey Road.

"Barrowland Star" was named after the iconic ballroom in the East End of Glasgow that has hosted many memorable Simple Minds shows. The album artwork is by Brazilian visual artist Heitor Magno, whose work is often a surreal montage of vivid coloured imagery and black and white photography. The image he has created for Walk Between Worlds is emblematic of Simple Minds' metamorphosis. The central character on the front cover bearing an uncanny resemblance to a young Jim Kerr – the sleeve could also be viewed as a telling throwback to the Sons And Fascination era.

Simple Minds were the standard bearers for a new kind of rock in the Eighties, when they took the art-rock invention of post-punk and constructed a musical Colossus by adding rousing choruses and a touch of Celtic soul. As they contemplate turning 40, their legacy is something to be proud of and with Walk Between Worlds their story continues to evolve.

Simple Minds will take to the road in February 2018 to premiere Walk Between Worlds in three shows, which will be in three parts: a performance of the album, a live on-stage interview and a classic Simple Minds set, which will include the band further re-imagining and exploring songs from their extensive catalogue. For fans it will be a very special, one-of-a-kind experience.

With Jim and Charlie now part of a theatrical gang of musicians that are, in Jim’s words, ‘more inspired by the likes Sly & The Family Stone than a traditional male rock band’, the tour will feature the Acoustic tour line up of: Jim and Charlie, percussionist Cherisse Osei and backing vocalist Catherine AD alongside band mainstays Ged Grimes on bass, multi-instrumentalist Gordy Goudie, and regular backing singer (and sometimes lead vocalist) Sarah Brown. ‘The whole stage set-up is now more fluid,’ says Charlie. ‘We’re working on fresh arrangements of some old songs, and there is going to be more movement between the musicians onstage. There will be time for people to digest the songs and more space for Jim to talk to the audience.’

'As much as it has been a real pleasure to work on Walk Between Worlds, equally so it is thrilling to observe that the Simple Minds story continues to evolve both in the studio and on the live stage. Sensing that each of these songs are destined to become individual events when played live - we look forward to performing all of them alongside already established live classics when we set out on this next upcoming tour.' - Jim Kerr

Standard Track list:
 

1. Magic
2. Summer
3. Utopia
4. The Signal and The Noise
5. In Dreams
6. Barrowland Star
7. Walk Between Worlds
8. Sense Of Discovery

Deluxe Edition includes the bonus tracks:
 

1. Silent Kiss
2. Angel Underneath My Skin
3. Dirty Old Town (live)

Walk Between Worlds will be available on standard and deluxe CD, standard, deluxe and picture disc vinyl, digital download and stream. CLICK HERE to pre-order!

2018 UK Dates:
 

February 13 - Barrowland; Glasgow
February 14 - Albert Hall; Manchester
February 15 - Roundhouse; London

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Out now: 'Call Me By Your Name' soundtrack

Call Me By Your Name (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), a mix of 1980s pop, classical compositions and songs by singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens, including two new songs written specifically for the just-released film is out now via Madison Gate Records/Sony Classical.

ABOUT THE SOUNDTRACK:
Music is vital to director Luca Guadagnino's films, but he normally doesn't hire composers, and instead makes selections from pre-existing music. While this soundtrack is a compilation of tracks by numerous musicians, Guadagnino decided he wanted to approach American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens to create a song especially for the film. "An artist for whom I have enormous admiration is Sufjan. His voice is fantastic and angelic, and his lyrics are so sharp and deep and full of sorrow and beauty. The music is so haunting. All these elements were the ones I wanted to envision in the film."

While Guadagnino knew that Stevens had never collaborated on a movie before, he reached out. Stevens read the book, they had a long conversation, and the result was that he wrote not one, but two original songs for the film: "Mystery of Love" and "Visions of Gideon". When Stevens' songs arrived on set a few days before shooting began, Guadagnino invited the film's stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer and the film's editor Walter Fasano over to listen to them at his house. "It was magic," says Fasano. "A really wonderful moment." At Guadagnino's suggestion, Stevens also rearranged one of his earlier songs, "Futile Devices," for piano for use in the film. "I think Sufjan's songs add another voice to the film," says Guadagnino. "They are kind of like a narration without a narration."

The soundtrack also includes tracks by John Adams and Ryuichi Sakamoto as well as pieces written by Erik Satie, Maurice Ravel and Johann Sebastian Bach. As the film is set in the 1980s, Guadagnino chose period Italian pop music (including Giorgio Moroder and Joe Esposito's "Lady Lady Lady") for the radio, but particularly spotlights The Psychedelic Furs' anthem "Love My Way". "I love The Psychedelic Furs," says Guadagnino. "It's kind of autobiographical, because I remember listening to that song when I was seventeen and being completely affected by it. I wanted to pay homage to myself then."

ABOUT CALL ME BY YOUR NAME:
Call Me By Your Name is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman, written by Oscar® nominee James Ivory and starring Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Timothée Chalamet (Interstellar, Homeland).

It's the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Chalamet), a precocioius 17-year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family's 17th-century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel).

Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio's sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart.

One day, Oliver (Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio's father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

ABOUT SUFJAN STEVENS:
A singer-songwriter currently living in New York, NY, Sufjan Stevens' preoccupation with epic concepts has motivated two state records (Michigan and Illinois), a collection of sacred and biblical songs (Seven Swans), an electronic album for the animals of the Chinese zodiac (Enjoy Your Rabbit), an expansive EP in homage to the Apocalypse (All Delighted People), a full length partly inspired by the outsider artist Royal Robertson (The Age of Adz) and two Christmas box sets (Songs for Christmas, vol. 1-5 and Silver & Gold, vol. 6-10). 


BAM has commissioned two works from Stevens, a programmatic tone poem for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (The BQE) and an instrumental accompaniment to slow-motion rodeo footage (Round-Up), and he has collaborated extensively with the New York City Ballet choreographer Justin Peck (Year of the Rabbit, Everywhere We Go and The Decalogue). Sevens' Planetarium, a collaborative album with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister imbued with themes of the cosmos, was released this year to widespread critical praise.

His 2015 album Carrie & Lowell explored his relationship with his mother in the wake of her death—a companion collection of outtakes, remixes and demos, The Greatest Gift Mixtape, was just released.

Track listing:


Hallelujah Junction – 1st movement – – John Adams
M.A.Y. in the Backyard – Ryuichi Sakamoto
J'adore Venise – Loredana Bertè
Paris Latino – Bandolero
Sonatine bureaucratique – Frank Glazer
"Zion hört die Wächter singen" from Cantata
BWV 140 "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" – Alessio Bax
Lady Lady Lady – Giorgio Moroder & Joe Esposito
Une barque sur l'océan from Miroirs – Andre Laplante
Futile Devices (Doveman Remix) – Sufjan Stevens
Germination – Ryuichi Sakamoto
Words – F.R. David
È la vita – Marco Armani
Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens
Radio Varsavia – Franco Battiato
Love My Way – The Psychedelic Furs
Le jardin féerique from Ma mére l'Oye – Valéria Szervánsky & Ronald Cavaye
Visions of Gideon – Sufjan Stevens

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Out now: Andy Grammer's 'The Good Parts'

Pop singer/songwriter Andy Grammer has released his third full length album, The Good Parts.

It includes his hit single "Fresh Eyes," which has streamed over 300 million times, "Give Love," a collaboration with LunchMoney Lewis and latest single "Smoke Clears," which Grammer recently performed on Today and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Said Andy Grammer, "Album one is proving that you're worth listening to, album two is proving that it wasn't a fluke, and album three is the most authentic thing I've ever done."

Next, Grammer is set to appear on The Talk (12/4), Chelsea (12/15), and in the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade (1/1/18). Grammer will kick off his 2018 The Good Parts Tour in San Francisco next March - hitting a total of 22 cities in the United States and Canada. See tour routing below.

The first male pop star in a decade since John Mayer to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, Grammer's debut album featured the platinum singles "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me." The Good Parts is a follow up to Andy's Gold certified sophomore album, Magazines or Novels, that featured the triple platinum hit "Honey, I'm Good," one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem "Good to be Alive (Hallelujah)." Andy notably has six hit singles certified gold+.

Track Listing:


1. Smoke Clears
2. Freeze
3. The Good Parts
4. Spaceship
5. Fresh Eyes
6. 85
7. Always
8. Workin On It
9. Grown Ass Man Child
10. This Ain't Love
11. Civil War
12. Grow
13. Give Love (featuring LunchMoney Lewis)

Tour dates:


3/14/18 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
3/15/18 The Belasco Theatre Los Angeles, CA
3/16/18 Chumash Casino Santa Ynez, CA
3/17/18 House of Blues San Diego, CA
3/19/18 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
3/20/18 Vogue Theatre Vancouver, BC
3/21/18 Neptune Theatre Seattle, WA
3/23/18 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT
3/24/18 Gothic Theatre Englewood, CO
3/25/18 Madrid Theatre & Café Kansas City, MO
3/27/18 Music Hall Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN
3/28/18 Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee, WI
3/30/18 Deluxe at Old National Centre Indianapolis, IN
4/2/18 The Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON
4/3/18 St. Andrews Hall Detroit, MI
4/5/18 Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN
4/6/18 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
4/7/18 The Underground Charlotte, NC
4/9/18 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT
4/13/18 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
4/14/18 Irving Plaza New York, NY
4/15/18 The TLA Philadelphia, PA

Kasabian interview

photo: Phil Knott
Kasabian is practically a household name among alternative rock fans in Britain. Hailing from Leicester (located just outside Birmingham), the band’s 2004 self-titled debut record sold more than a million copies at home and spawned four top 20 singles.

Since then, each successive studio release has entered the U.K. charts at No. 1. The four-piece has also won a Brit Award and routinely headlines the country’s biggest music festivals (including Reading and Leeds this past August).

Here in the States, the Tom Meighan-fronted band maintains a large cult following for its brash, electronic and dance-infused rock music that has often taken stylistic cues from the likes of Primal Scream and Happy Mondays.

The solid sixth album For Crying Out Loud, Kasabian’s first in three years, finds multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/producer/principal songwriter Serge Pizzorno getting more personal than usual. Meighan has said singing the Loud lyrics saved his life after an especially dark period.

There are sonic nods to LCD Soundsystem (“Are You Looking for Action?”), Prodigy (“Ill Ray-The King,” whose music video stars Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey), Ramones-meets-late ‘60s-Stones (the racing, distorted standout “Bless This Acid House”), The Beatles (closing, campfire-type singalong “Bet Your Life on It”) and Spaghetti Western soundtracks (“The Party Never Ends”), not to mention some of the musicians’ usual humor (a surrealistic “You’re in Love with a Psycho”).

We recently caught up with Pizzorno to get an update on all things Kasabian following its brief North American tour of theaters.

Rock Cellar: You’ve admitted to being more excited about performing live lately. Why?

Serge Pizzorno: The creation, the process of making albums is my favorite thing. The performance side is always secondary. I figured, ‘you’re on stage more than you are in the studio.’ So, I just try to find a way of embracing it and making it interesting for me. Every night, I [attempt] some moves.

What kind of response have you gotten from fans about For Crying Out Loud?

Serge Pizzorno: It’s a shame more people don’t know about us, which is funny, because around the world, we’re massive. Here, no one’s heard any of the music. People that come to the shows feel blessed that they get to see us in such small venues. I like playing those little venues, by the way. They’re a lot of fun. Reminds you of when you start out. It’s not such a bad thing for bands to feel like that.

You handled the production reigns again, instead of having someone like Dan the Automator at the controls. At this point in your career, do you feel you have a firm handle on how Kasabian should sound?

Serge Pizzorno: To be honest, I have a clear vision and feel someone else would get in the way. I have an idea of exactly what I want. It’s not always worth it [to have a producer]. But moving forward, I definitely think I’ll work with someone on the next album.

Do you find it easier to work on the album in your home studio, where you can put ideas down at your leisure?

Serge Pizzorno: Exactly, and every album the bedroom gets a little bigger, which is fun. I feel most comfortable at home, but to create, I have to sort of go to the Himalayas and find a hut somewhere.

A couple songs were inspired by 1970s rockers like The Stooges and Ramones. Have you come to appreciate them more as you get older?

Serge Pizzorno: You know what? I’ve always been into them and loved their energy. As you get older, I suppose you realize that on the face of it, bands get a bad rap for being dumb or simple. You learn more about how clever and difficult it is.

People see them as straightforward things, but it’s like, ‘you’re missing the point.’ Those bands are supremely intelligent. The music press sold them short because they were so clever. The bands knew exactly what they were doing. Every decision they made was considered and chosen because that’s what they wanted to put out. I buzzed off that.

I thought, ‘let’s go down this road for that album.’

I’ll bet a lot of people were surprised by “Put Your Life on It,” the unabashed love song that closes the album. 


Serge Pizzorno: I think people that have followed us from the first record can see the overview of the journey we’ve gone on, like, ‘Ah, it’s that album.’ We’ve made a stoner album, an alcohol album, the concept record. I look at the legacy bands leave behind. You see a career band make albums to supply the demand for hits and radio. Then there are other bands that leave a tale of their life. I think one’s kind of accepted there’s less experimentation and more straightforward melody and structure [here]. Next time will be completely different. I’m already starting to see what the next one is going to be like.

You’ve done projects with Noel Fielding of British comedy troupe The Mighty Boosh and you tend to leaven some Kasabian lyrics, such as on “Comeback Kid” and “Wasted,” with a bit of humor. Is adopting that tone more important than ever in these rancorous times?

Serge Pizzorno: In a way. I like songs that have comedy and I’m obsessed with standup. I’ve always loved lyricists that could make me laugh. In my head, I see the school bully or some big dude that’s trying to put you down. Growing up where I’m from, there were always some – what do you call them – jocks – in America? Kids like me that were into [painter] Basquiat and [poet] Dylan Thomas always got a bit of abuse. [‘Comeback Kid’] is about the idea of tearing that dude down and going, ‘I’m going to end you and put you in a bin bag.’

The 8 ½ minute long party jam “Are You Ready for Action?” really stands apart from everything else on the album. What is the story behind it?

Serge Pizzorno: Originally, I had a 3 ½ minute maximum for all the songs. At the end, I felt it should be like a Roxy Music song or those old Dub tapes back in the day, where they’d take a pop song and make an [extended effort] out of it. I got well into that and thought, ‘Everything else is so tight and considered and direct. To complete the album, we need a moment where you get taken away.’ In that context, it works because that musical break is really sweet.

You’re not involved with social media, but the band does have an official Instagram account. Who runs it?

Serge Pizzorno: We have a girl that deals with the photos, but all the content is directly from us. We could have been at the forefront of it, but we’re from a generation where the mystique of a band was normal. I really don’t want anyone to know anything. You don’t know anything about stars from the past. You know the myth, but you don’t really know anything about them. I don’t like what people have to give away of themselves to gain followers. It doesn’t interest me.

What’s ahead for the band after the current world tour?

Serge Pizzorno: I’ll probably go back into the studio and make more music. 


This interview originally appeared at rockcellarmagazine.com